Death Penalty

Proven security, but maybe not from murder charges.

* Okay, okay, I’ll upgrade my McAfee virus protection, just please don’t kill me. [Fox News]

* Elmo likes to talk dirty? [TMZ]

* Progress would involve getting cops to stop beating people up just for fun. [Simple Justice]

* James Dolan, already one of the worst owners in professional sports, is now sticking to the letter of the Cablevision contract and requiring customers to call in to tell them when Sandy knocked out their service if they want a refund. [Gawker]

* The Electric Chair movie sounds horrifying, but so does the death penalty. [Underdog]

* Check out Avvo Ignite, an exciting new client conversion and website solution for attorneys. [Avvo Ignite via Law Technology News]

* Check me out on this podcast and hear my passionate and slightly drunken defense of David Petraeus. I do not think that there is an epidemic of generals being blackmailed over their affairs. [Recess Appointments]

* A Hurricane Sandy survival guide. Key components? Food, water, booze, and prophylactics. Who’s ready for a hurricane Halloween party? [FindLaw]

* California’s longest serving death-row inmate just got his sentence set aside by the Ninth Circuit. [WSJ Law Blog]

* A few days before Thanksgiving, SCOTUS will decide whether to hear the Prop. 8 and DOMA cases. Happy holidays? [American Foundation for Equal Rights]

* Sometimes the most effective self-defense weapon isn’t a gun, it’s a pot of soup. [Consumerist]

* Harold Koh, former Yale Law School dean and current legal adviser to the State Department, sits down for a Legally Speaking interview at UC Hastings. [California Lawyer]

* Additional thoughts, this time from Professor Eugene Volokh, on employers urging employees to vote a certain way. [Volokh Conspiracy]

Judge Susan Graber

All of us as judges have had life experiences that could be said to affect our perception of the cases that come before us. Some of us have served as prosecutors and others have not; some have experienced discrimination as women or minorities and others have not; some are intensely religious and others are not, and our religions vary…. These life experiences do not disqualify us from serving as judges on cases in which the issues or the facts are in some indirect way related to our personal experiences.

– Judges Marsha S. Berzon and Richard Tallman, in an elegantly written Ninth Circuit order explaining why Judge Susan P. Graber does not need to recuse herself from a capital murder case because her father was murdered 40 years ago.

Let’s see. How many completely unrelated topics can you fit into one federal appeals court ruling? How about a lead defense attorney who drank a quart of vodka during every day of a capital murder trial, a concurring opinion criticizing the majority opinion — not about the case itself, but simply on the ruling’s length — aaaand let’s throw in a Mark Twain quote for good measure.

That should do it! Introducing the ruling in Holsey v. Warden. It’s quite the odd duck, so let’s take a look…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “This Federal Judge Wants Shorter Legal Opinions; We Heartily Concur”

‘This herpes thing is less embarrassing than my 72-day marriage to Kim Kardashian.’

* Want to know what they call the Supreme Court attorney who deals with requests for stays of execution? The death clerk. Paging John Grisham, because this guy’s nickname would make a great book title. [New York Times]

* “If you’re going to sue, it’s better to sue earlier rather than later.” Probably why battleground states like Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are in a tizzy over their election laws. [Washington Post]

* WikiLeaks or it didn’t happen: Bradley Manning’s lawyer has demanded that seven years be cut from his client’s prospective sentence due to allegations of improper treatment while in military custody. [The Guardian]

* Michigan Law’s Sarah Zearfoss, she of Wolverine Scholars fame, finds media coverage about the awful job market for recent law grads “really frustrating.” Try being unemployed. [Crain's Detroit Business (reg. req.)]

* Kris Humphries is being sued for allegedly giving a girl herpes. But alas, the plaintiff seems to have no idea who actually gave her the herp — four John Doe defendants are identified in the complaint, too. [Star Tribune]

* “Given the police idiocy, one wonders where the boobs really are.” A nude model who was arrested during a body-painting exhibition in Times Square won a $15K false-arrest settlement from the cops. [New York Post]

* The ABA is gearing up for its annual meeting in Chicago. I’ll note (with a lack of surprise) that I was not invited. [ABA Journal]

* At that meeting, the ABA will once again consider accrediting foreign law schools. American lawyers have shouted down this idea twice before, but if the ABA has a chance to screw over its constituents it simply must keep trying. [National Law Journal]

* Here, we see NYU’s Dean Richard Revesz defend the economic value of an “expensive” NYU Law degree without actually using any economic facts or statistics. [Constitutional Daily]

* Please tell me this Ted Cruz yahoo wackjob Republican Senatorial candidate isn’t going to become an ongoing part of my life. [Mother Jones]

* Only lawyers could complicate the word “shall” to the point that it loses all meaning. [Legal Blog Watch]

* I thought casinos killed you with the expensive gambling, not the free alcohol. [Overlawyered]

* Another positive review for Mark Hermann’s Inside Straight. [New York Personal Injury Law Blog]

* An interesting conversation with NYU professor David Garland about the death penalty. It won’t kill you to check it out. [Cruel and Unusual]

* Will consultation with victims’ families determine whether James Holmes deserves the death penalty? You could probably consult with a wall to make that determination and get the same result. [PrawfsBlawg]

* Just like that, with incredible ninja-like speed, someone has already filed a negligence suit against the Aurora Century 16 Theater where the shootings took place. [Gawker]

* And no, sorry to disappoint you, but notwithstanding his self-admitted teeny peeny, we don’t think that James Holmes decided to go on a shooting spree because he got rejected by a few women on Adult Friend Finder. [Jezebel]

* While we’re talking about gun violence, Mike Bloomberg has got a great idea: all police officers should go on strike until legislators push through stricter gun laws. How is a nanny state supposed to work properly when all the governesses are off duty? [Gothamist]

* Knowledge is power in the hands of a client, especially when the knowledge you’ve given them is just another tool to piss off opposing counsel during a deposition. [Popehat]

* Personal responsibility fail: allowing your 13-year-old to drive you home because you’re wasted. Fathering fail: believing that was a good idea in the first place. [Legal Juice]

* A fake TV show starring a wheelchair-bound paraplegic paralegal? You know you’d watch this. [The Onion]

The rush to judgment for James Holmes — the suspect shooter in the Aurora, Colorado movie massacre — is in full swing. I’m not here to defend this guy, but the bloodlust in our culture is fairly shocking. From the Daily News (via Marin):

I just, man, I’m just going to note, again, that BATMAN tries not to kill people. And I don’t think that comic book ideal is so unattainable for a civilized society. The desire for revenge is a natural emotion, but it doesn’t have to be public policy.

In any event, those looking for the ultimate vengeance against this apparent psycho might well get their wish. Though Colorado has been very cautious with its approach to the death penalty, the Holmes prosecutor has a reputation for going out of her way to seek it….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Did James Holmes Draw a ‘Hanging’ Prosecutor?”

This is your brain on drugs in Singapore.

Singapore is where crime goes to die. The country is well-known for having strict laws against crime and even stricter punishments for criminal offenders. Caning gets a lot of press, probably because beating people with sticks sounds barbarous.

State-sanctioned killing is also fairly barbaric, and Singapore does it with even more gusto than our own United States. Singapore has a “zero tolerance” policy for drug use, which means drug users in Singapore can be hung by the state.

Now, Singapore’s deputy prime minister says the country will be loosening the rope around drug offenders. But druggies in Singapore shouldn’t get too excited…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Singapore To ‘Relax’ Death Penalty Standards, But Death Might Be Preferable To Singapore’s Version of Humane Treatment”

Stephen McDaniel

Yesterday brought bad news for Stephen M. McDaniel, the 25-year-old Mercer Law School alumnus accused of killing his neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings. His lawyers’ request for a reconsideration of his bond, originally set at $850,000 by Chief Judge S. Phillip Brown, got denied.

One of McDaniel’s lawyers, Franklin J. Hogue, argued that the bond was “excessive,” claiming that the McDaniel family couldn’t afford more than $150,000. The prosecution countered that the family’s financial picture might have changed since the passing of McDaniel’s grandfather, Hollis Browning, back in April. According to Floyd Buford, another lawyer working for McDaniel, Browning’s will remains to be executed. In the end, the judge left bail as is — meaning McDaniel will remain in jail for the foreseeable future.

Now let’s hear the good news for the defendant. It relates to that disturbing internet posting that the prosecution attributed to Hacksaw McDaniel back in April….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Good News and Bad News for Stephen McDaniel, Recent Law School Grad Accused of Murder”

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